Dak Prescott and Micah Parsons will lead a highly talented Dallas team to Raymond James Stadium on Monday for a Wild Card Round matchup, setting up the Buccaneers and Cowboys’ third primetime meeting in the past two seasons.
Let’s take a deeper dive into how things might go in Tampa this time around.
(Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook)
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2023 NFL NFC Wild Card Best Bets: Cowboys vs. Buccaneers (Monday)
- Opening Line: Buccaneers +2.5 | O/U 44.5
- Current Line: Buccaneers +2.5 | O/U 45.5
- Last meeting: September 11, 2022 – Buccaneers 19, Cowboys 3
Dallas Cowboys vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Dallas Cowboys played each other in the NFL’s opening Sunday night game of 2022. Now, these two clubs will play each other in the final Monday night contest of the season, and for one of them, it will also be the final contest of the 2022 campaign overall.
However, this time around, it will be their first time meeting in the postseason in forty years.
In what would turn out to be one of its more well-rounded performances of an up-and-down regular season, Tampa Bay defeated Dallas 19-3 in the team’s season opener. Although difficulties in and around the red zone prevented the offense from pulling away until the second half, the Buccaneers still managed to amass 347 yards of offense while only allowing Dak Prescott and company 244 of their own.
In that meeting, Prescott also sustained a thumb injury that would keep him out of the Cowboys’ subsequent five games. The Cowboys were able to win four of those five games with Cooper Rush as the quarterback and maintain their postseason hopes.
The Buccaneers, who won the NFC South with an 8-9 record and were the lowest-seeded team among the four division winners, were drawn against the 12-5 Cowboys for this one in the final week of the season. In Week 18, neither the Cowboys nor the Buccaneers had much to play for because the Cowboys could only take over first place in the NFC East if the Eagles lost to the underdog Giants in Philadelphia and Tampa Bay was locked into that fourth spot.
The Buccaneers, who are unapologetic about their 8-9 record, have already accomplished their first major objective for 2022 by capturing their second consecutive division title, but they still have bigger goals in mind.
Even with a depleted roster since then, expectations are still sky-high for TB12 and company following the 2020 Super Bowl LV and 2021 where the team tied for the best regular-season record in the NFL before losing on a last-second field goal to the Rams in the divisional round. They will now try to peak at the ideal time as they begin the second straight postseason at home.
This is a different Bucs team, however, finishing the regular season with just 76.9 rushing yards per game, the worst total in the league. Now facing one of the best secondaries in the NFL, I think we see an early exit.
Pick: Cowboys -2.5
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